As a mother, it is comforting to know
that God cares deeply, even more than
I do, about our young orchard. I don’t
have to worry about what to teach our
children about truth—since truth does
not change. God has spoken to the really
important matters already. He has told
us how to love—and He has shown us
how to love. We must love in spirit and
Is it tough? (Does it rain in Washington?)
I’m learning—sometimes the hard
way—that I can
be an intentional
arborist without having it all together. I
don’t have to have
every answer. But I
must be willing and I
must be rooted. Will-ing to put in the long
hours, and willing to
tend to my own root
system: my marriage,
my own relationship
with God, and my relationships with oth-ers. After all, a strong
mother needs strong
What does it look
like to be an intentional arborist? Here are three ways you
can become a better, more intentional
Get rooted yourself.
You’ll need fertilizer. God’s Word is
the best there is! Strong roots = strong
mama. You can’t be like that tree in Psalm
chapter one if you’re not rooted first in
the soil of the Bible. Spend time with the
Lord each day. I like to read just a chapter each day in the Psalms, and this year,
I’m going through the New Testament.
Don’t know where to start? Try the book
of Philippians. You can’t go wrong.
Need wisdom? I sure do! Seems like each
one of our seven children needed an entirely new set of instructions! Cookie-cutter parenting simply doesn’t work.
Ask God specifically for the needs of your
Get the bigger picture.
children. Name them. God made and de-
signed them, so it makes sense that He
would know what each child needs. Even
that strong-willed child. Yeah, that one
might require some extra prayer. I know
my poor mother had her hands full with
me! “Lord, help me shape this strong will
for Your glory!”
Boy, is it hard to see past tantrums, late
nights, long conversations, repeated in-
struction, consistent discipline, failure,
and disappointment. (And I’m just talk-
ing about my own issues here!) Good-
ness knows we’ve got to see the WHY or
we can easily get lost in the oh-so-daily
tasks of parenting. Mom, you are doing
an amazing job.
What we’re doing to-
day will impact our
grandchildren. I wonder
. . . what kind of a root
system will they inherit
from this generation of
The impact of your intentional parenting will
last long after the last
load of laundry has been
run through and you’ve
watched your child begin
to put down new roots on
The work you do now
will yield a harvest of
joy if you hang in there.
Plant tenderly. Sow with
love. Plant with the harvest in mind.
The harvest is coming, busy mom. As
I watch my adult children interact with
my little ones, I am reminded of how fast
the years go. I seem to have become a
grandmother as I was tending to young
saplings of my own.
Indeed, the days can be long, but the
years go by fast. Know what I mean?
You sure look cute in those arborist
overalls, by the way.
They suit you.
Heidi St. John has been married to her
husband Jay since 1989. Together they have
seven children from toddler to adult and
have homeschooled all the way through
high school. A favorite conference and radio speaker, Heidi approaches marriage and
parenting with humor and grace. Her passion to encourage moms and set them free to
be who God has created them to be will bless
and encourage you. www.thebusymom.com
The work you do
now will yield a
harvest of joy
if you hang in